Hayden woman attacked by two dogs

Police: Victim would have died if neighbors had not come to her rescue

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— A Hayden woman was mauled by two dogs Sunday before being rescued by neighbors who pulled her over a fence and away from the animals.

The unidentified woman, 54, was hospitalized and required surgery before being released later Sunday evening, Hayden police Chief Ray Birch said.

Police responded to a report of a dog bite in the 300 block of East Jefferson Avenue at about 3:27 p.m. Sunday, according to police records. Birch said the victim was mowing the yard at a property she rents when two dogs belonging to a tenant circled her and started biting at her legs. The woman also had severe wounds to her forearm from defending herself from the dogs, Birch said.

Birch said it was fortunate the woman stayed on her feet and that the neighbors came to her rescue.

"If the neighbors hadn't come and pulled her out, (the dogs) would have killed her," Birch said.

The dogs, which are heeler mixes, have been impounded at the Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter, where they will be quarantined for 14 days and tested for rabies. The criminal investigation of the case is ongoing, Birch said.

Birch said the numerous animal complaint calls his department responds to each week might seem inconsequential, but that this attack underscores the importance of responsible pet ownership.

"The public needs to know how important it is to maintain the proper licensing and vaccinations of their animals," Birch said. "That's something we will be strictly enforcing."

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com.

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